Jina Sushi closes, reopens to speculation about immigration violations

Local restaurant Jina Sushi closed both of its locations on April 23.

The campus location on Johnson St. reopened on May 9. The weeks between caused online rumours and speculation as to why Jina had closed.

A poster on the Facebook group “Overheard at Queen’s” claimed that a former employee had told him that the restaurant had been shut down for employing unauthorized workers.

Another posted on April 23 that he had seen “a Canadian Border Services Agency van parked on the sidewalk by the back entrance to Jina at 1 p.m. today.”

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) was unable to confirm this due to the Privacy Act. Section 8 prevents a government institution from disclosing personal information unless the individual consents.

CBSA said that on April 23, CBSA Inland Enforcement Officers investigated a restaurant in Kingston for employing unauthorized workers. The investigation is ongoing.

Kingston Police Force media relations officer Steve Koopman said he hadn’t heard anything about Jina.

“In regards to illegal immigrants that wouldn’t be a municipal police issue, that would be a probably more federal government aspect … we’re not even aware of it,” he said.

Originally, Jina Sushi said it would reopen its campus location on May 6, but posted on May 5 that it would not be opening again that day.

“Basically, all we need is a Sushi chef,” Jason Park wrote. He added the restaurant had found one a week before, but the chef ended up retracting his acceptance.

The restaurant did not directly address the cause of closure on its Facebook page. The restaurant’s owners didn’t respond to multiple interview requests from the Journal.

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